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The Millionaire's Runaway Bride (Dinner At 8)
Moving home to the country offered Kate the chance to make a comfortable, secure life for herself. But there was a complication--her ex-fiancý, millionaire Jack Logan. He was still gorgeous--and the attraction between them was electric!
It would have been easy for Kate to let Jack seduce her. But if Jack learned the truth, would he be so keen to reclaim his runaway bride?
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April 01, 2007
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Excerpt from The Millionaire's Runaway Bride (Dinner At 8) by Catherine George
SHE locked the car, and set off at a run past such a long line of parked cars she felt horribly guilty. The party was obviously in full swing and the guest of honour was late. As she raced up the drive towards the house the door flew open, but before Anna Maitland could start scolding Kate gave her a hug and a penitent kiss.
"Sorry, folks," she panted. "The late Miss Durant!" Ben Maitland grinned and gave her a bear hug.
Anna elbowed her husband aside. "You said you were about to leave when I rang, Kate. Where have you been?"
"I went on painting too long. And at the last minute I remembered that my party gear was still packed, so I had to wear something that did' need ironing." Kate pointed an accusing finger at her friend"s clinging beaded dress. "Hey--just look at that cleavage! You said dress code was casual."
"Smart casual," scolded Anna, frowning at Kate"s jeans. "Are we going to stand out here all night?" inquired Ben. "No, indeed--get a move on, Kate," ordered Anna. "Take your things up to the spare room."
Kate saluted smartly, and ran upstairs to dump her bag and toss her coat on the bed. She replaced suede boots with black silk slippers with high silver heels, tugged her silver satin camisole into place and teased a loose strand from her upswept knot of hair. She renewed her lipstick, hung silver and crystal icicles from her ears and ran downstairs to join her friends.
"Smart casual after all, Cinderella," said Anna, relieved. "Ready for the fray?" asked Ben.
Kate grinned. "You bet. Lead me to the champagne." Anna seized Kate by the hand to tow her through the crowd of people in party mood, taking her on a round of greetings to old acquaintances and introductions to new ones before she left her with a fair, attractive man ordered to take good care of her. Richard Forster was obviously only too happy to do so, and Kate was quickly absorbed into a convivial group, blissfully unaware that she was under surveillance.
In the adjoining conservatory, half concealed by greenery, a man stood answering questions about his company"s latest regeneration project. His answers were courteous and informative but his covert attention was on the new arrival. Unlike the other women she wore jeans with some shiny thing that looked like underwear. Her lean, boyish figure had fuller curves above the waist now, but her hair still shone like the conkers they"d once collected under his father"s chestnut tree. And, instead of looking the odd one out, she made the other women seem overdressed.
"That"s Anna Maitland"s friend, Kate Durant," said the man next to him, following his look. "Want an introduction?"
Still unaware that she was under scrutiny, Kate sipped champagne and contributed her fair share to the conversation in the group. But when she turned her head slightly her fingers clenched, white-knuckled on her glass, as she recognised the tall man wending his way towards her. The mane of black waving hair was shorter, the build more formidable and the angular planes of the face harder, but one look at him was like a blow to the heart.
"Hello, Katherine," he said casually, as though it had been days instead of years since their last encounter.
"You"ve met Jack Logan?" asked Richard Forster, and Kate pulled herself together, smiling with hard-won composure as she held out her hand.
"Why, yes, many moons ago. Hello, Jack. Fancy meeting you here." "Kate and I are old friends from way back." He included the group in his smile as he put a hand under her elbow. "Forgive me if I steal her away for a minute."
"Sorry I could' introduce you." She took her arm back once they were out of earshot. "I did' get all the names."
"I know most of them." "And they all know you, of course." "Big fish, small pool." His eyes held hers. "You look good, Kate. A touch rounder these days, but it suits you."